Land Concentration and Land Grabbing in Europe

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  • Report: Land concentration, land grabbing and people’s struggles in Europe.

URL = http://cooperativa.cat/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/land_in_europe-jun2013.pdf

Summary

"This report, involving 25 authors from 11 countries, reveals the hidden scandal of how a few big private business entities have gained control of ever-greater areas of European land. It exposes how these land elites have been actively supported by a huge injection of public funds –at a time when all other public funding is being subjected to massive cuts. While some of these processes –in particular ever-increasing land concentration– are not new, they have accelerated in recent decades in particular in Eastern Europe. They have also paved the way for a new sector of foreign and domestic actors to emerge on the European stage, many tied into increasingly global commodity chains, and all looking to profit from the increasingly speculative commodity of land." (http://cooperativa.cat/en/land-concentration-land-grabbing-and-peoples-struggles-in-europe/)


Discussion

People's Struggles

"Fortunately the hope for halting and reversing the European land grab lie with many of these same social groups that are getting dispossessed and marginalized. All of the cases examined in the study highlight how new movements, cross-class, rural and urban, and from different occupations, are emerging in Europe. Their actions, as in many regions of the world, are both defensive against land concentration and land grabs, but also pro-active seeking to occupy land, advance alternatives. The study includes the case of the community of Narbolia, Sardinia mobilising against the use of prime agricultural land for massive solar greenhouse projects, and the case of opposition to the Notre Dames des Landes airport project in Nantes in France.

In terms of pro-active struggles, it highlights the case of SOC in Andalusia, where landless peasant farmers are collectively occupying land and cultivating it using ecological farming systems, and SoLiLA in Vienna where young people are coming together to “squat” fertile urban land for community supported agriculture and city food gardening and thus preserve it from conversion to urban commercial projects. These struggles are transforming both urban and rural spaces into new battlegrounds in the struggle for control of the direction of European agriculture." (http://cooperativa.cat/en/land-concentration-land-grabbing-and-peoples-struggles-in-europe/)

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